Mudslides shut down Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

Parts of the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu will remain closed until at least Monday, the department said.
Image: Los Angeles Mudslides
Mudslides caused portions of the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.CalTrans

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By Janelle Griffith and Tim Stelloh

Sections of the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles have been shut down due to mudslides and flooding over the weekend, the California Department of Transportation said.

Parts of the state’s iconic coastal highway will be closed until at least Monday as crews work to unearth a 40-foot-wide debris flow, according to NBC affiliate KNBC in Los Angeles.

The department tweeted images from the city of Malibu showing cars and roads buried under rocky sludge.

The slides occurred after heavy rains swept across stretches of Southern California on Saturday. The rains were especially dangerous after last year’s Woolsey Fire — a blaze that scarred nearly 100,00 acres, destroyed 1,600 structures and killed three people in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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The National Weather Service said at an automated rain gauge in the Santa Monica Mountains — which rise just east of Southern California coastline — measured nearly three-quarters of an inch in an hour on Saturday night and nearly half an inch in 30 minutes.

“These are heavy rain rates!” the agency tweeted.

Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Dennis O’Shea said authorities were alerted to the slides after drivers stopped by a local fire station.

They “rang our doorbell to tell us there was flooding and people were trapped,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Those folks just happened to be in the worst part of it, and they just got stuck.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if there were any injuries.

Among those to apparently get stuck was the rapper Soulja Boy, who tweeted an image of a car buried in mud and later said he’d been involved in a “bad accident.”

“My car got stuck too almost went into the ocean,” he said, adding a folded hands emoji.

Forecasters expected more rain and snow beginning late Sunday as another storm front moves across the state, according to the Associated Press.